Photo: Southside High’s Jordan Grantland (3) drives to the basket as Etowah High’s Ollie Finch defends during the Blue Devils’ 73-49 victory in boys basketball last Tuesday (Jan. 7). (Courtesy of Gary Wells)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
There is now officially a logjam in Class 5A, Area 12 boys basketball.
Sparked by a standout effort from Trent Davis, Etowah pulled away late in the first half for a 73-49 victory last Tuesday (Jan. 7) at SHS.
The Blue Devils, Panthers and Alexandria are tied at 1-1 in the area.
Davis was a thorn in the hosts’ side all night, as the junior guard poured in 25 points while drawing fouls and shooting a perfect 8-for-8 at the foul line.
The highlight of Davis’ night came late in the first half. After Chris Lengyel’s two free throws put Southside ahead 22-21, Davis scored eight points of an 12-0 run that sent Etowah (6-7) into intermission with a 33-22 advantage.
The Panthers (10-8) never got within single digits for the remainder of the contest.
“Trent’s had over 20 or 30 points for the last five ballgames, so he’s playing really well,” said Etowah head coach James Graves. “Trent and the other football players are finally getting into good basketball shape, and I really think we’re coming into our own. Southside’s got a good team, and it’s never easy to come over here and beat them. Most of the teams we play are bigger than us, so we have to box out and fight through picks to get good shots. Our kids did a good job with that and pushing the ball and getting out in transition.”
Brady Troup added 13 points for the Blue Devils, followed by Ethan Foster and NyNy Davis with nine each. Michael Rich paced Southside with 12 points, while Jordan Grantland added 11 and Colton Morrison chipped in eight.
In a back-and-forth first quarter that saw the leads change hands nine times, Foster’s layup with 42 seconds left gave the visitors a 15-14 lead. It was the same for most of the second quarter until Trent Davis’ hot hand over the final two minutes helped Etowah take a 33-22 lead at halftime.
The Blue Devils’ momentum carried over into the second half, as 14 points from Trent Davis helped Etowah build a 55-34 advantage by the end of the third quarter.
“I still think that we could play better, but tonight was by far the best game we’ve played this year on both ends of the floor,” said Graves. “When we play good defense and share the basketball, I like our chances.”